A cup of coffee holds so much more for me than a boost of energy. The first sip of it brings calm. The enjoyment of it helps me organize my thoughts for the day. A cup of coffee can bring the parts of myself together, sometimes like nothing else. I don’t know why this is.
Sure, I grew up with (and am still influenced by) my mom’s side of the family constantly having a pot of coffee available for whoever wanted some. And now when I see my grown siblings, there is usually coffee involved if we are hanging out together for any extended period of time.
So maybe because of the fact that it helps to create community when I’m with others, when I drink it alone, it reminds me of those I love and the communities I belong to. The warmth of the coffee brings to mind and soul the warmth of the love I have in my life. Maybe coffee is a way for my hands to have something to do while my ears listen to the stories of others. In this way, it is an avenue of connection.
I don’t know about you, but if I walk into the doors of a church and there is coffee in sight, it is usually surrounded by people. It can be unnerving, especially if you happen to be new, to go wade into that little crowd for a cup of joe. But you know what? It can also be a chance for you to feel less alone. It can be a chance for someone else to make a friend they might not otherwise have ever met. It might be a chance for laughter and conversation. The point is, it connects us.
One of my favorite places to have a cup is while I am up north. There is just something about making coffee over the fire or in the cabin on the stove that makes it taste even better. I like bringing a fresh, hot cup down to the lake, book in hand, and sitting in a chair on the dock, losing track of time while I sip and read. An acceptable change to this scenario is that my husband or mom or sister or other loved one shows up with a cup too, and we have one of those really good, really deep connecting conversations. Or we both just sit and sip and be – together.
People who know me, know I love coffee. Some might say it’s a problem (*ahem* thanks, husband.) But I think they also know that for me, it is not simply a drink I love. It is a way for me to have alone time when I need to recharge, and also a way to connect with other humans I love. Like I said, it isn’t about the drink itself (as tasty as I think it is). It’s about the finding of myself again, and the rediscovery of the beauty of friendship and love in my life.
If I ever ask you to have coffee with me, it’s because I want to hear your story. It’s because I want to be a good friend to you and keep learning how to listen. It’s because when the bottom of the cup is visible and the last gulp of coffee is gone, I know we have spent that time pouring into our friendship and connecting as humans.
I just wanted you to know what a cup of coffee means to me. Something simple, but with so much potential.
Love and hope,